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Thursday’s Headlines: Death in Central Park Edition

6:48 AM EST on December 19, 2019

A video still shows the moment when bus driver Dave Lewis passed too closely to cyclist Dan Hanegby, who had the right of way, killing him. DA candidate Liz Crotty argues that the city’s “Right of Way” Law shouldn’t criminalize such crashes, which she calls “accidents.”

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Daniel Cammerman, a cyclist and pediatrician who was killed on Wednesday by a yellow school bus driver, was a great man. And in his memory, we will not jump to the conclusion — that the city's tabloids naturally did — to exonerate the driver in yesterday's fatal crash by reporting without evidence that Cammerman hit ice on the 96th Street transverse in Central Park, causing his own death (NYDN, NY Post). (Indeed, the papers have conflicting information about what direction the cyclist was even going before the crash.)

Daniel Cammerman
Daniel Cammerman
Daniel Cammerman was killed on his bike on Dec. 18, 2019 in Central Park.

We won't report this story their way that because we are all too aware how drivers who have just struck and killed someone will tell cops anything to avoid certain likely conclusions: that they were likely driving too fast, too close or too distractedly. We also won't jump to the blame-the-victim conclusion because we remember the case of Citi Bike rider Dan Hanegby (pictured above), who was run over by a bus driver whose claim that the cyclist fell into him was bolstered by the newspapers only to be horrifically disproven by video later unearthed.

So as we mourn the 29th cyclist killed this year, let's remember where to focus this investigation: on the actions of the driver who struck him. And then let's keep demanding that the city provide safe infrastructure to protect the most vulnerable road users.

Weather: It'll be clear and cold all day, thanks to that high pressure over Michigan.

Here's the news:

    • The MTA board approved Gov. Cuomo's 500 new MTA cops for the subway system, even though no one knows where they'll be trained or how the agency will come up with the $249 million for them (NYDN, NY Post). Meanwhile, protesters were arrested at the heated meeting (NY Post) and the Times finally got around to mentioning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's opposition, with a classic backwards-looking lede.
    • You're going to hear the term "forensic audit" a lot, but the MTA got what it paid for: a document saying that it's not such a bad agency. (NYDN)
    • A Brooklyn senior was fatally struck by a woman in an SUV, who was later charged with failure to yield. (NY Post)
    • Someone at the Post put a weird anti-Busway headline on this David Meyer story on how great the busway is. Meanwhile, it was nice to see Matthew Chayes of Newsday challenge business owners to prove that their receipts have fallen because suddenly drivers can't use 14th Street.
    • Now that's some serious graffiti art ... that taxpayers will now be soaked with cleaning up. (NY Post)
    • Say goodbye to Car2Go, a car-share system that held out the promise of reducing private car ownership. (Wired)
    • A girl who was hit by a school bus driver in 2017 was awarded $43-million by a Brooklyn jury. (NYDN)
    • And, finally, in case you missed it, there was big news out of the nation's capital. (NY Times)

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